Rugby World Cup 2015: Italy 23-18 Canada
|Italy (13) 23|
|Tries: Rizzo, Garcia Cons: Allan 2 Pens: Allan 3|
|Canada (10) 18|
|Tries: Van der Merwe, Evans Con: Hirayama Pens: Hirayama 2|
Canada threatened to pull off a World Cup shock but were denied by Italy in a thriller at Elland Road.
Michele Rizzo's try had the Azzurri 13-10 ahead at half-time, following DTH van der Merwe's fine score for Canada.
The Canadians dominated after the break and Matt Evans crossed to deservedly restore their advantage.
But Gonzalo Garcia's try edged Italy ahead once more and they held on despite heavy Canadian pressure and Nathan Hirayama's penalty.
Victory would have been Canada's eighth in 26 World Cup matches but they were unable to add a finishing touch despite enjoying 59% of the possession.
Italy, beaten in their opening match by France, next play Ireland in Pool D on Sunday, 4 October.
Canadian pressure without reward
Canada dominated the attacking stats after their exhilarating, albeit ultimately fruitless, second-half display in Leeds.
The only stats Italy led in were defensive ones, and also the only one that truly matters - on the scoreboard.
- Italy have won both of the World Cup meetings between the two sides, with both wins coming by five-point margins.
- Mauro Bergamasco came off the bench to appear in his fifth World Cup, equalling Brian Lima's record.
- Canada have lost three World Cup games in a row for the first time since losing three on the bounce at the 2003 tournament; Italy also beat them in that run.
- Gonzalo Garcia's try - Italy's second - was the Azzurri's 50th in World Cup history.
Italy: McLean, Sarto, Benvenuti, Garcia, Venditti, Allan, Gori, Rizzo, Ghiraldini, Cittadini, Geldenhuys, Furno, Zanni, Minto, Vunisa.
Replacements: Campagnaro for Benvenuti (59), Palazzani for Garcia (73), Aguero for Rizzo (46), Giazzon for Ghiraldini (59), Castrogiovanni for Cittadini (46), Fuser for Geldenhuys (79), Bergamasco for Vunisa (57). Not Used: Canna.
Canada: Evans, P. Mackenzie, Hearn, Braid, van der Merwe, Hirayama, J. Mackenzie, Buydens, Barkwill, Wooldridge, Sinclair, Cudmore, Dala, Moonlight, Ardron.
Replacements: Trainor for Braid (14), Jones for Hirayama (73), Mack for J. Mackenzie (55), Sears-Duru for Buydens (55), Carpenter for Barkwill (57), Tiedemann for Wooldridge (65), Olmstead for Cudmore (72), Gilmour for Dala (59).
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